Lightweight M43

Discussion in 'Himalayan Imports' started by Tarsis22, May 13, 2016.

  1. levs18


    Jun 25, 2000
    This is an amazing thread. I have an M43 that I train with, but it's just too heavy. A lightweight M43 with the same length would be pretty much my ideal khukri. As mentioned, this would be much closer to the type of khukri that the Gurkhas use. Do you know how thick the spine on it will be?
  2. Jens Schuetz

    Jens Schuetz

    Jun 24, 2013
    SingleGrind, I also like the ring and it being on most Kukris I wonder what the Gurkhas must have thought about the redesign back then.

    I bet it was something along those lines.
    'I don't care as long as it cuts.'
  3. Tarsis22


    May 12, 2016
    Very nice, exactly what I'm looking for.
  4. Tarsis22


    May 12, 2016
    I don't know, my guess would be around 5/16.
  5. timcsaw

    timcsaw Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 25, 2007

    Have you looked at a BDC (Burra's Daily Carry)? It's very "M43-ish" but lighter in weight (and length if that's what you're looking for).

    I just received my 12 inch, 16 oz. BDC and it's perfect for me (I see why it's Burra's daily carry). I have an M43 at 36 oz. and it's a wrist breaker for me... just too much for me to swing comfortably.

    I have a 16.5 inch WWII at just under 1.5 lbs. that I can chop with if needed.

    Personally, I'm a fan of those in the 12-16 inch length with weights under 1.5 pounds.... other's mileage may vary.

    Attached Files:

  6. SingleGrind


    Jun 15, 2015
    Stwm, haven't touched it yet, no need to. This thing came sharp as can be, as have almost every other blade by Lachhu. It's been used heavily for 3 weekend cabin trips now and is just as sharp as the day it came.

    Levs18, what are the specs on yours?

    I'll measure the spine on mine when I get home.

    Edit: tim, you've clearly been around BF a lot longer than I, but I have definitely seen BDCs up into the 18" range and possibly bigger. And I have to disagree that they are generally lighter. From what I've seen, they tend to be about the same weight when comparing examples of the same length. I have a 12" myself and at 16oz like yours, I feel it would compare to a 12" M-43 if that were made. I really look at the 2 like the same shape, but the BDC is fullered kinda like an AK or Foxy, depending on who made it.

    Actually I don't know why I didn't post earlier, but I had a custom set of "Kitchen" BDCs made, and they have very thin spines compared to the normal version. Biggest one is a little under 15". Gotta look up specs again. All 3 KBDCs and the M-43 are by Lachhu, who seems to prefer the Foxy Folly style fullers

    Here's the fam

    And just the big one

    Edit: the KBDC pictured above rings in at 14.6oz, and trust me when I say it's too light for anything but kitchen use
    Last edited: May 17, 2016
  7. euroross

    euroross Gold Member Gold Member

    May 19, 2008
    This lw m43 sounds really great!

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  8. shortwinger

    shortwinger Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 7, 2010

    Here is a pic of my HI horn handle M43 that weighs in at 824 grams (29 oz.). It is pictured with a 1943 Military Issued MkII (M43) that weighs 701 grams (24.7 oz.)

    It sounds like what you guys are asking for is an M43 made to the original specs. One of the important things to look for in this model is the balance you get from having the proper length and weight as well as a handle that is approximately 1/3 the total length. A good weight to look for is in the 23-25 oz. range and an overall length of 18 inches. The handle should be about 6 inches.

    The MkII (M43) is "not" considered a heavy chopping model but rather an all-a-rounder (chopper, slicer, fighter) that does most tasks reasonable well. The edge and bevel are unique and very unlike many of the modern kukri. The blade should taper evenly from handle to tip and spine to edge. Several modern made kukri mirrored this design including the Blackjack/Reinhardt Combat Kukri and the CS Gurkha Kukri. Interesting to note that the picture of the M43 on the HI website is an identical copy of the original military issue. Unfortunately, getting one made to these specs has been an impossible journey for many. Hopefully, you will have better luck!

    Antique MkII.jpg

    Here is a pic of a few of my antique MkII's for comparison. The heaviest weighs 793 grams and the lightest is 595 grams. From 1917 through 1944 the shape and dimensions are almost identical regardless of date produced or manufacturer.
    George Azar likes this.
  9. Jens Schuetz

    Jens Schuetz

    Jun 24, 2013
    Thanks for sharing all the details. Super interesting!!!
    Is it possible to get a shot of a typical spine? Just want to see the consistent taper from guard to tip.
  10. jsm11


    Nov 5, 2014
    I'm pretty sure I've seen the MKII made to OE Specifications...

    But, It's not a HI and I will not link to it...

    Sweetcostarica even has some video on it me thinks...
  11. Dobe_1


    Jun 19, 2013
    I prefer the no ring handle of the m-43. It has a palm swell and an enlarged pomel. I found for continual heavy chopping, the ring gives me blisters.

    I have at least 3 m-43s, and by far this is my favorite Khukuri. I thought I was through buying Khukuris, but if I were to see a few 17" 25 oz. m-43s, I'd probably say: "two please"...

    I just thought of a possible design problem with the lighter longer bladed m-43s. It may be difficult to build a light weight 17" blade, and still incorporate the deep fuller design. I thought of that while looking at the pictures of the older m-43s. To lighten a longer blade, the spine has to be thinner. If the Kami keeps to the same angle and blade depth, it may be harder to produce that fuller you see on the typical HI design.

    While the fuller will no longer be needed for weight reduction, it does provide another function. It allows for the edge to be set at a larger angle, which is better for a chopping blade. I have found that this large angle also keeps the edge from sticking-It's more wedged shape. I've cut several chain saw sized trees down with HI Khukuris, and believe this steep edged angle facilitates chopping by helping to maintain the edge due to the wide angle, as well as keeping the blade from being pinched while chopping.

    Nonetheless, I want a light weight 17" m-43. I'll take two please.

    “We used to carry knives,” he said. “Now we have to carry keys.” China Fences In Its Nomads, and an Ancient Life Withers; Andrew Jacobs; New York Times; July 12, 2015.
    Last edited: May 31, 2016
  12. davidf99

    davidf99 Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Sep 27, 2011
    The easiest way to get a lightweight M43 -- one with the same specs as the blades used in WWII -- is to find a vintage blade from that era on one of those auction sites. Some of them are in pretty good condition and they're not terribly expensive.

    Or you can go with timcsaw's idea and order an HI BDC model. Those are shorter than a typical M43, and lighter weight. Nevertheless, the BDC is a strong, hefty knife, good for just about anything except extended heavy chopping.

    Here are a few pictures.

    First, a vintage blade, described by the seller this way: "WW2 British Gurkha military fighting knife, Khukuri 1944 QEYOOM Bros, vet souvenir." It is 18" OAL and I believe it weighs 24 oz. I have it put away, so can't weigh it right now. It came to me with a little surface rust (very little) that you can see in the picture, which polished right off with minimal effort.

    View attachment 639318 View attachment 639319 View attachment 639322

    Next, a BDC made by Bura Kami: This is a little larger than most, 14" OAL and 17.5 oz.

    View attachment 639315 View attachment 639316
    Last edited: May 31, 2016
  13. Dirtbiker


    Jul 2, 2010
    Or go look in the exchange for somebody moving a bunch of vintage kukris.
  14. FSCJedi

    FSCJedi Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 19, 2002
    I believe I know of whom you speak, and I'm certain I've been personally turned down inquiring about their apparently now out-of-production M-43 model Mk IIs. [emoji19]

    Sent from my iPhone using this new-fangled Tapatalk technology
  15. FSCJedi

    FSCJedi Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 19, 2002
    Shortwinger, you gotta message me and let me know how I can find an M43 like these. I need one in my life in a bad way. Haha.

    Sent from my iPhone using this new-fangled Tapatalk technology
  16. kamagong

    kamagong Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 13, 2001
    At 28 ounces this one doesn't meet your specs, but I wouldn't change a thing because it is balanced so exquisitely. I do agree that most M43s are built too heavily, but I'd say that's true of most of HI's current offerings.

    George Azar likes this.
  17. Mateos


    Dec 2, 2015
    Thanks to all for the great photos and information. This has turned into a pretty interesting thread. My M43 is a 15" 29oz. It's a great chopper and I don't feel the weight so much since it is only 15". But I really do want a bigger/lighter M43 too. A 17 or 18" weighing in around 24 to 28 oz would be great.
    George Azar likes this.
  18. shortwinger

    shortwinger Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 7, 2010
    Are you looking for a user or an antique? I have a few antiques for sale but these would not be for use. I also have a Khukuri house version for sale but is not really close to the original specs. Nice Khukuri but I would call it a big heavy chopper and not really a MkII at all.
  19. FSCJedi

    FSCJedi Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 19, 2002
    Ideally I'd like a user, but one of the old issue blades. They've got character and were meant to be used. Right now I've got a sweet old WWII Ka-Bar that rides around on my go-bag.

    Sent from my iPhone using this new-fangled Tapatalk technology
  20. George Azar

    George Azar Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 18, 2017
    IMG_9457.JPG My 2 HI M43's. One is made by Kumar. Very thin and lighter than the other. Both are well balanced. Both approximately 18" with12"+ blades! I absolutely love them. My scale should be in next week as I can't wait to weigh them!

    Update: Both weighing in at approximately 27 oz!
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2018

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